If the Lux Style Awards continue, they will be celebrating their 10th anniversary next year. But it’s a very big ‘if’ considering they are rapidly losing steam. A far cry from rejoicing a decade, the fear is that if the award show isn’t revived to its original glory this year, as is the premonition, then it looks as if it’s been taken to heights only to be pushed off to certain death.
“Lux stands committed to promoting the fashion and art industry in the country,” said Farheen Salman (Brands Director, Skin Cleansing and Care) while speaking exclusively to Images on Sunday. “The LSAs are the Pakistani Oscars and we are currently involved in the voting process for the 2009 nominations. Announcement for the event will be made by the brand after the voting process ends in August. As planning for the event is still ongoing, the scale and time cannot be confirmed.”
That has been the official stance for two years but it commits to nothing while denying nothing. One knows that the preliminary rounds of jury meetings have been conducted and (in the absence of films), television and music nominations have been announced while fashion nominations should be released anytime. But truth be told, the exercise seems futile in the absence of a befitting finale. And if that befitting ceremony does not take place (ideally with necessary modifications) then it is as good as over. The organisers remain silent on this year’s plans so far but they insist that they will continue to honour excellence. The way I see it, honouring excellence would have to come after honouring commitment to the industry.
That commitment began in 2002 when the multinational corporation that produces and markets a brand of beauty soap, hinged on it and lathered up a frothy event. The event awarded achievers (chosen by a select board of governors) in different helms of the liberal arts and declared LSA winners in a star-studded ceremony. It braved the harsh winds of controversy as well as all sorts of national turbulence and with the help of industry and media support, managed to grow in eight years.
Normally one wouldn’t be surprised at the LSA fade-away. This is Pakistan and things open and shut at the blink of an eye, and it all happens in the name of socio-economic instability. Corporations that use star power as marketing gimmickry must realise the responsibility they have towards nurturing that star power. Unilever has used the LSA platform to push its image of sincerity for local artistes. Where is that commitment now that it is most needed? Now is when Pakistani television is regaining its original glory, now is when fashion (thanks to fashion weeks) is making headlines all over the world. The music industry is as strong as ever and with several strong film projects in the pipeline, now is when one sees hope for the revival of cinema. Now is when the LSAs would make maximum sense.
Times are bad, but then one sees Bollywood stars on local billboards and wonders: Katrina Kaif must have come at a high price, a price that was justified by sale spikes. The LSAs, by not managing to arouse as much interest (read revenue), may have been nothing but a well-rounded loss for the organisation.
The LSAs really do need to restructure. Let them be the Golden Globes of Pakistan rather than the Oscars; let them hinge on a formal ceremony and black tie dinner instead of a flawed song and dance show